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26 February 2019 | Story Eugene Seegers | Photo Eugene Seegers
Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Daniella Coetzee, South Campus Principal, Tshegofatso Setilo, Director Access, Prof Prakash Naidoo, Vice-Rector Operations
Prof Francis Petersen, Prof Daniella Coetzee (Principal: South Campus), Tshegofatso Setilo (Head: Access Programmes), and Prof Prakash Naidoo (Vice-Rector: Operations) on the South Campus for the welcoming of first-years.


“Welcome to the South Campus of the University of the Free State!” Addressing a packed Madiba Arena, Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, said he was happy to see not only first-year students, but also parents and guardians, student leadership, and support staff from both the Bloemfontein and South Campuses.

 “I would like to congratulate each of our first-year students for making the decision to come to Kovsies to further your studies here. But I would also like to thank you for making this choice,” he continued.

Prof Petersen further emphasised that the students’ experience and success as individuals are important to the UFS as an institution; therefore, academic and support staff are on hand to guide them through their journey to becoming well-rounded individuals. “We will surely take care of you,” said Prof Petersen. He also reassured parents and guardians that their loved ones would be well looked after.

The Rector also focused attention on the role of student-leadership structures, such as the newly-formed Institutional Student Representative Council (ISRC) and South Campus SRC, members of which were present in the audience. He thanked them for playing a key role in the student constituency, highlighting their support and guidance to help first-years cultivate a sense of belonging at the UFS.

Turning back to first-year students, Prof Petersen stated that they have the unique opportunity to study on a campus specifically focused on developing their full potential, a campus where they can realise their dreams. “Your arrival on the campus marks a new chapter in your life. This chapter is slightly different, as you are the author thereof. The previous chapters in your life were largely written by others—your parents, guardians, families, teachers, and others. You will now be the main author in the next chapter of your unique story.”

“At Kovsies, we believe in developing students in their totality as human beings, not just the academic side. May your time with us equip you to make a success of your life after university!”

Prof Petersen’s Message to First-year Students
  1. Take responsibility for your academic programme.
    • Keep your focus. Study and study hard. You will reap the rewards and see the advantages of making success in your studies a top priority.
    • Make sure that you have enough time for your studies; balance your social life and your time set aside to study.
  2. Realise and remember that you are not alone.
    • If you find things difficult, seek help.
    • Our Department of Student Counselling and Development has trained staff and tailor-made programmes that can assist you.
    • Look after your mental health—and look after each other’s mental health.
  3. Make the most of your time at Kovsies.
    • Join one or more of the student organisations; why not try something new?
  4. Embrace difference and diversity.
    • Get to know students who are different from you.
    • You will lose valuable opportunities to grow if you only associate with your own all the time. It is important to get to know students who are different from you. It could be someone from a different part of the country, or from another country, a different ethnicity, a different religion, someone who has different views from yours, or who has different interests and perspectives.

News Archive

UFS unveils portrait of Ms Winkie Direko
2005-11-28

During the unveiling ceremony were from the left Prof Frederick Fourie (Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS), Mrs Direko, Judge Faan Hancke (Chairperson of the UFS Council) and Dr Charles Nwaila (Director-General of the Free State Provincial Government and Vice-Chairperson of the UFS Council). The blue background of the portrait depicts Ms Direko's philosophy of "the sky is the limit".  She also wore the same outfit as what she has on in the portrait. Photo:  Stephen Collett

UFS unveils portrait of Ms Winkie Direko  
A portrait of Ms Winkie Direko, former Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS) and Premier of the Free State Province and currently a Member of Parliament, was unveiled today during the last session of the UFS Council for this year on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein.

The portrait, painted by the gifted artist Ms Reshada Crouse, now hangs in the Council Chambers of the UFS.

Ms Direko was sworn in as Chancellor of the UFS in August 1999.  She was the first black person and first woman in this position at the UFS. She was succeeded by Dr Franklin Sonn.

“Ms Direko had an exceptional legitimacy in the black community because of her role in black education in the Free State (as principal) and community leader in the difficult ‘struggle’ period.  This former principal’s simultaneous insistence on transformation as well as discipline and order at an educational institution was exactly what the UFS needed at that stage,” said Prof Frederick Fourie, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, during the unveiling ceremony.

“She also played a special role to bring the UFS and the Free State Provincial Government closer to each other.  Her comprehension for the own nature of a university helped in times when difficult decisions had to be made.  She also realised the value of the university’s expertise for her government.  The Premier’s Economic Advisory Council, with the UFS rector and academics like Lucius Botes and James Moses in leading roles, was formed to undertake important research on economic development strategies in the Free State,” said Prof Fourie.

In her speech Ms Direko said that it is an unique experience for her to be catalogued in the history of the UFS.  “I am humbled and proud to be associated with the UFS,” she said.

Ms Direko said that the UFS is on the right track with its transformation process.  “I will continue to convince people that the UFS is for everyone and will fight for that until the end.  But, it is important to see a visible change concerning transformation.  The UFS must bring its side and speed up the transformation process.  I know that it is a difficult road, but we cannot hide from the realities of our time,” she said.
 

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel:  (051) 401-2584
Cell:  083 645 2454
E-mail:  loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za
25 November 2005

 

 

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